"Pier and Beam" Foundation

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Old 05-26-09, 07:44 AM
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"Pier and Beam" Foundation

Hi all. Question. I recently bought an old house in Houston, TX, went underneath it the other day and found that the foundation is simply cinder blocks holding up the beams. Is thia standard? I see a number of nice looking houses in the area that seem to be sitting on cinder blocks, but I'm not sure.

I ask for 2 reasons. First, because I want to raise/level the house between 1-2 inches. I take it is pretty give that I need to place shims over the blocks. Second, if this is ok, does this mean that when I build an addition I can use cinder blocks? I ask because I hear a lot about pourcing concrete, etc.

Answers would be great and I'd also appreciate references to books and websites that elaborate.

Thanks!
 
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Old 05-26-09, 05:59 PM
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You pour concrete to build to code, which is the country's minimum safety standard. Here is some floor framing:
Do-It-Yourself Housebuilding: The ... - Google Book Search

Here is where I got it from, enter the suject, pick the book preview-------

post and beam foundation - Google Book Search

I'm sure you'll have more questions.......... Be safe, G
 
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Old 05-26-09, 11:48 PM
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Not sure what the code or building practices are there. Hear we use a full block foundation that has a poured footer and its starts below freeze line and up above ground to house plate. What you are describing is what we do here to sit mobile homes on. ( no footers years ago) Then upgraded to block piers set on concrete pads. ( next upgrade for mobile homes was concrete pads below frost line and block piers. If there is sinking on the piers I would suspect no footers under block piers or in adequate ones at best. Explains the out of level and sinking.

Personally If code allows what you have grandfathered or not I would go beyond code and make 24" concrete pads below freeze line and mortared block piers at the min repair here. To go further then that I would do each pier and level house. After that I would add more block walls between piers and cross ventilate that. Now all the parts of the house beam plate is sitting on a a full block wall.

I don't have any books or web sites and wouldn't post any. I'm a Prof builder since 1979 and also move houses. Mason first trade Now a G.C.

My area gets wet a lot and cold -0 at times ground moves a lot. Gets over 100 in the summer at times.
 
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Old 05-27-09, 06:55 PM
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Hey, thanks to both of you! The book GBR referred me to combined with 21boat's response makes it all clear. Now I just have to go look under my house and hope I have concrete footings!
 
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